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Erwin Olaf Solo Show - Photography
by Galerie Paris-Beijing
Location: Galerie Paris-Beijing, Beijing
Artist(s): Erwin OLAF
Date: 31 Jul - 24 Sep 2010

Galerie Paris-Beijing is glad to present the world-acclaimed Dutch photographer, Erwin Olaf, with a large selection of his work, including the photography series “Rain”, “Hope”, “Grief”, “Hotel” and “Laboral Escena, Spain”, as well as an artistic video project.

A pioneer in staged photography, Olaf appeared on the international art scene in 1988 when his series Chessmen was awarded the first place in the Young European Photographer competition. Well known for his stunning use of studio lighting and an aesthetic close to advertising imagery, Erwin Olaf serves a conceptual photography exploring issues of gender, sensuality, loneliness, and aging in his successive series.

Time is suspended in Erwin Olaf’s photography. Though he traps his subjects in periods long past – the sixties for Grief, Rain, or Hope – their gazes, feelings and attitudes are timeless. Recalling David Lynch atmospheres, these lonely characters – especially women – have only themselves to face. Their honest expressions upset the tailored dresses and perfect hair and they seem absent from their surroundings – an anonymous hotel room of Grief or Hotel or in the domestic settings of Hope or Rain. No longer attached to their environments, their bare feelings consume their spaces. Even if they are not alone, communication still seems impossible. It's as if time stopped and for a silent moment, the masks of social representations fall off and reveal hidden frustrations.

Born in 1959, Erwin Olaf has lived and worked in Amsterdam since the early 80's. His work has been published and exhibited worldwide. Solo shows and retrospectives were organised at the Chelsea Art Museum in New York, the Australian Centre for Photography in Sydney, the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris, and the Museum of Modern Art in Moscow, among many others. In 2006, he was awarded Photographer of the Year at the International Color Awards and in 2008, he received a Lucie Award for his life's work.

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